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Columbia Business Monthly

#ColumbiaAgenda: Minority Business Conference, Poll: SC Republicans Want Clean Energy, REI Coming to BullStreet, Man Sues Biz for Boss' Flatulence

Mar 27, 2019 11:49AM ● By Chris Haire

Minority Business Conference Coming to Columbia: Are you part of a minority-owned business? If you’re interested in learning more about how to do business with the city, don’t miss the free Minority Business Opportunity Conference on Wednesday, April 10, hosted by the City of Columbia.

Participants will learn about the city’s procurement procedures, find out how to become a certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), and meet the people who purchase goods and services for the city.

The City of Columbia is committed to providing opportunities for small and minority businesses to succeed, according to program coordinator Kalenna Ginyard, who heads up supplier diversity. City Manager Teresa Wilson has said that 10 percent of citywide purchases should come from vendors designated as Disadvantaged Business Enterprises. “It helps the small businesses, and it diversifies the supplier base,” Ginyard says. “It helps increase competition, and helps women-owned businesses as well.”

Ginyard says research found that minority and women-owned businesses were “substantially underutilized” in Columbia, and the conference was designed to continue closing that gap. “The city is committed to economic growth for all of the community,” she says.

The event will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Senate’s End, 300 Senate St. 

To register, visit, and to find out more, contact the city’s Office of Business Opportunities at 803.545.3950 or --Leigh Savage


The newly formed group Conservatives for Clean Energy SC has released a poll showing strong state Republican support for clean energy: According to the poll, potential general election voters in the Palmetto State lean red, with President Donald Trump showing a 12-point lead over any Democratic candidate in the 2022 campaign, while 55% said they would vote for U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham if an election was held today. 

For many this will not come as a surprise. But what they may find surprising is just how strongly South Carolina Republicans support clean energy, based upon Conservatives for Clean Energy SC's findings.

According to the poll from the clean energy activist group, "72% of SC Republicans support the development of clean energy," while "62% of SC respondents oppose drilling off our coast." 

“Our survey confirms that state conservatives not only support clean energy, they strongly support developing more renewable energy sources like solar and wind," says Luke Byars, Conservatives for Clean Energy SC adviser and longtime state political consultant, in a statement. "Clearly, there’s no denying the growing strength of clean energy in South Carolina any longer.”

Byars is not the only long-time Palmetto State conservative to adopt a more enviro-friendly stance. Former Upstate Congressman Bob Inglis founded the conservative climate change think tank RepublicEn in 2012. A strong believer that climate change is real and it's caused by human behavior, Inglis lost his Congressional seat in 2010 largely because of his views. Since then, he's become a trailblazer among Republicans.


Pentagon: We’re Buying Boeing F-15s to Keep 2 Fighter Makers in Business (Defense One)

Almost all of these military construction projects will be defunded to build the wall (American Enterprise Institute)

Is waking up at 4 a.m. the key to a productive day? (Fast Company)

Telegram Now Lets You Delete a Received Message From Sender's Device (Bleeping Computer)

Your client’s gone viral—now what? (American Bar Association)

Port of Oakland’s new yard cranes are “going hybrid” in latest environmental initiative (Logistics Management)

10 Shortcuts Entrepreneurs Should Not Take When Starting a Company (National Law Review)

Two healthcare groups react to Justice Department's support of abolishing ACA (Becker's Hospital Review)

IT Jobs Boost Economy, Even Outside Tech Hubs (WSJ)

The Wire
REI Co-Op To Open 20,000 Square-Foot Store In Columbia’s BullStreet District

Hubbell Lighting Designs Receive 2019 Sapphire Awards

SAFE FCU Announces 2019 Board Of Directors Election Results

50 Most Influential
Raj Champaneri
Lexington Hospitality

Raj Champaneri serves as the COO of Lexington Hospitality. With more than 20 years in the hospitality industry, Champaneri is involved in acquisitions, development, and operations of properties. 

Currently, the company is developing a Holiday Inn at the corner of Washington and Main St. Lexington Hospitality opened its doors to Columbia’s first boutique hotel, Aloft, in 2017, located in the Vista. 

Champaneri also is changing the game over in Lexington: the company is planning a 90-100 room Marriott-branded hotel for the heart of Main Street in the small town’s emerging downtown district, just steps away from the popular Icehouse Amphitheater.

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